I first met this month’s guest on social media through our shared interest in reading and writing, and we quickly became friends. As well as several short stories, Pam has written six books which she will tell you more about. A while ago I read and enjoyed No Stone Unturned which is the first novel in The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries and I’ve recently read the second book, Footprints in the Sand which is also very good.

I know Pam’s writing career keeps her busy, and I’m delighted she has found the time to stop and chat with me. So, without further ado, I’d like to welcome Pam Lecky to my blog.

Good morning, Pam. I thought we might start by learning a bit more about you. Perhaps you could tell me a bit about yourself.

Hi Marcia, and hello to your readers. Thanks so much for inviting me along to chat about my writing and my books. I am an Irish historical fiction author, living in North County Dublin, close to the sea. My Sarah Gillespie WW2 espionage series is published by Avon Books UK/Harper Collins. I also independently publish a Victorian mystery/crime series – The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries. My debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was shortlisted for Novel of the Year for the Carousel Aware Prize and longlisted by the Historical Novel Society. For the past year, I have been a full-time writer and enjoying every minute of it.

Have you self-published any of your books?
I independently published my first book, The Bowes Inheritance, in 2015 and it did really well. This encouraged me to continue to write. In 2018, I signed with the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency in London and my second novel, No Stone Unturned, went out on submission. Although it garnered a lot of interest, publishers felt that the Victorian era wasn’t popular enough for them. So, I published the book in 2019 and it proved extremely popular, particularly in the US. At that stage, I decided to continue to independently publish the series, in agreement with my agent. Footprints in the Sand and The Art of Deception followed. I have no regrets, as the series continues to sell well. In fact, it is proving so popular that I become a full-time writer last year. However, in 2020, my WW2 novel, Her Secret War, and its sequel, Her Last Betrayal, were snapped up by Avon Books UK/Harper Collins within a week of going out on submission. I have been a hybrid author ever since.

That is interesting and congratulations on finding a publisher. I’ve not gone down that road myself, but I’ve heard it is quite an achievement to find one.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy the challenge of extracting the characters in my head (often kicking and screaming!) and getting them down on paper. I have always loved history, so historical fiction and the need to research is such a joy for me. Those research rabbit holes are dangerous, of course, and time-consuming, but they often reveal plot ideas and twists or new characters to enrich my stories. If I didn’t have deadlines, I’d probably never stop researching and be quite content.

I know what you mean, it’s so easy to become side-tracked when researching; I’ve often fallen into the same trap myself.

Which authors do you particularly admire and why?
My stories tend to be mysteries/crime with a thread of romance running through them, reflecting the kind of stories I love to read. As a teenager, I discovered Georgette Heyer who, in my opinion, was a wonderful writer. Few can create characters and plots as well as she. And the humour she infuses into her stories raises them another notch. I have yet to read any historical romance to match her books and that is one of the reasons I have never attempted to write a Regency romance. However, I do try to emulate her style.

The next greatest influence is probably Dorothy L Sayers and her Lord Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane stories – just superb crime stories and the love story that unfolds is a perfect foil for the criminal plot lines. Her stories are rich in detail but deftly done so that you are absorbing it all without even realising it.

Yes, I have to agree with you about Georgette Heyer, a brilliant writer. I read a few of her books a long time ago. I’ve not read any of Dorothy L Sayers work but perhaps another author to add to my reading list.

How do you relax?
Besides walking my dog, Molly, I spend a lot of time in my garden. I find I can relax completely and switch off from social media. I trained with the RHS as a horticulturist and had planned on becoming a garden designer, however, the financial crash in 2008 put paid to that idea. I’m still in touch with a group of my fellow students and I organise visits to open gardens in the summer months all over Ireland. Hopefully, we can get back to doing those visits this year.

It’s interesting to hear that you trained as a horticulturist. I’ve had no training but I too find gardening is a great way of relaxing.

What is the best money you have ever spent as a writer? Without a doubt, the best money and the most I spend is on my editor for my independently published books. We have become great friends and she is as invested in my Lucy Lawrence books as I am. I can honestly say that she has put the gloss on my stories. I feel it is extremely important to have your book professionally edited. After all, you are competing with traditional publishers with big budgets and teams of editors. Also, and probably of more importance, you are asking readers to part with their hard-earned cash – they deserve the highest quality book you can produce. You only get one chance to engage a reader and badly edited work is a turn-off.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Italy is my go-to destination. I love everything about the country, the people, the scenery and the food. This year I am going to Lake Como, a favourite spot of ours, but this year it will be even more special as I am setting the fourth book in my Lucy series there.

That sounds great. I’ve been to Italy a couple of times, and as you say, loved the friendliness of the people, the scenery, and the food, but we tend to favour the Greek islands.

Of the books you have written which is your favourite, and why?
That is so hard to answer! Your current book tends to be your favourite, but I must admit that the novel I am most proud of is my first, The Bowes Inheritance. I wrote it purely for me and at the time I had no plan to publish it at all. No one was more surprised by its success than me! Coming a close second would be Footprints in the Sand, the second Lucy Lawrence book. I have always been enthralled by ancient Egypt so it was such a thrill to write a story where I could spend hours reading up on everything Egyptian. I used contemporary travel guides to build the world that Victorian tourists enjoyed, including the amazing Amelia Edwards’s book, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile, which was written about ten years before the setting of my mystery novel. Who can resist the tale of a murder victim found in The Great Pyramid?

Tell us about your latest novel.
Her Last Betrayal will be published by Avon Books UK/Harper Collins on 14th April 2022 and is currently available for pre-order. It is the second book in the Sarah Gillespie WW2 espionage series, following on immediately from the events in Her Secret War.

It is London, 1942. After losing her family to a Nazi bomb attack back home in Ireland, Sarah Gillespie joins the British Secret Services to bring them justice. Partnered with American undercover agent Lieutenant Tony Anderson, Sarah embarks on a dangerous mission that takes her from war-torn London into the black mountains of Wales. But when one of her team is revealed to be a German mole, and enemies begin to close in, what price will Sarah have to pay to save her country – and herself?

Buy Link: smarturl.it/HerLastBetrayal

Thank you, Pam, for taking the time to talk to me. I wish you every success with all of your books and, of course, your new book, Her Last Betrayal.

Readers, you can find Pam on the following links:

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

www.pamlecky.com­­

LinkedIn

Instagram

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